4 Reasons to Be Angrier That the NSA Is Tapping Your Phone
In an outrageous attack on the privacy of the National Security Agency, last week ex-security contractor Edward Snowden leaked -- among many things -- a super secret court order in which the NSA asked to obtain millions of phone records from American Verizon customers. So the government not only knows you've been calling Rudy's Dildo Palace three times a day, but also knows how much time you've spent there, thanks to your phone's GPS tracker. Is nothing sacred anymore?
But as anyone who's ever relied on their significant other for rides to work knows, we'll probably have to forgive the government for this. However, we really shouldn't -- even though the sex is great, the fact is that this scandal is worse than you probably think, because ...
There's Nothing Remotely Illegal About It (and That's Bad)
Like anything with the word "scandal" attached, the first question on everyone's mind always is "Who's going to jail for this?" Well, you can take those truTV-watchin' pajama pants off, because there's no single person taking the rap for this one ... since technically no one did anything wrong.
"Here's to institutional sociopathy!"
The reason for that is that a federal court has previously found that cellphone users have no expectation of privacy -- that means that, as far as the government is concerned, the moment you pick up a phone, you're basically saying "Duh, of course I know you can track me!"
"What else is this thing for?"
In other words, the Fourth Amendment, the one against unlawful searches and seizures, officially doesn't apply to that thing you use to read Cracked while pooping. And that's not gonna change, because ...
Both Political Parties Are Fine With It
Just after the story broke, two senators from the Intelligence Committee came out to reassure the American public that there was absolutely nothing legally shady about secretly recording every single outgoing and incoming phone number for millions of people without their knowledge. But hey, anything to defend their party's president, right? Nope: One of those senators is Saxby Chambliss, a Republican.
Weird, he looks more like a "Shaft" or something.
The other was Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein -- finally, something both sides of the political spectrum can agree on. In fact, along with the president, many of his political opponents, like Senator Lindsey Graham, also supported the NSA, while only a few party affiliates, like Al Gore, spoke out against it. Good thing you have an AT&T phone, right? Actually, about that ...
It's Not Just One Phone Company
So, why did the government only ask for Verizon's phone records? Does the NSA really have that much customer loyalty, or is Verizon the only company evil enough to go through with it? Actually, let's go with the third option: They're doing this with all companies.
All carriers are cut from the same cloth, which the government has taken to using as a spooge rag.
At least that's what some former NSA employees are saying. According to them, the NSA has their little hands in more than a few honey jars -- naming not only Verizon, but also AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile as companies that are currently helping the government stalk you. And who knows what else the NSA has been tapping?
The president of the carrier pigeon association declined to comment.
But even if you don't believe those guys, there's actually another very good reason to suspect that multiple phone companies are involved: They already have been.
This Scandal Already Happened Years Ago (and We Forgot About It)
When the scandal broke, a White House spokesperson tried to lessen the blow by explaining that this has been going on for years. It's the ol' "I've actually been banging your girlfriend since we met" excuse that always works so well.
"And she's a screamer!"
Oh, and by years, they mean an entire fucking decade (since 9/11). In fact, we already had this exact same scandal back in 2006 during the Bush administration, when it was revealed that the NSA had a contract with AT&T, BellSouth, and (you guessed it) Verizon. Just like today, they were creating what was then called the "largest database ever assembled in the world" of telephone information. To continue the girlfriend analogy, we caught the NSA making out with our fiancee in 2006, then just forgot about it, and now we're raising their kid.
She's reading our emails right now.